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“A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED”
A brave move, but one that I felt was so right – and that was to do something so completely different to Les Mis that it would make any direct comparison an impossibility, but I think it really paid off.
A good set, that depicted the two different rooms that had been knocked into one at some stage – this wasn’t immediately apparent, and I heard a couple of people asking why the room had two different wallpapers – but within the context of the play it made sense, and was referred to later in the play. I liked the fact that the actual room was opened out so that the cast had plenty of room for movement.
Props and set dressing were all very good and in keeping with the era, as were the costumes and hairstyles – every attention to detail which does make a difference to the overall look and feel of a production.
It was good to see a number of new faces to HHTC – all of whom gave a really good
account of themselves. It was also good to see that young people also got involved
with the technical side of the production, a good learning process for the future,
I was very impressed with Isobel Goldby-
I also liked Tess Askins as Mitzi – a difficult role, as she needed to be both feisty and subservient, which I think Tess captured well, making the most of some funny lines.
Zoey Bothwell captured the essence of Miss Marple – again I felt that Zoey acted up to Miss Marple’s age very convincingly – with the slightly busybody feel. I liked the relationship between her and Inspector Craddock – his slightly wry acceptance that her view was one to be respected and acted on.
Lawrence Baker was Inspector Craddock, he created a good character with authority, and really held the stage when he was leading the enquiry.
I was a little perturbed at the gunshots – they were exceedingly loud and did not sound right, which took away from the authenticity of the production, that had been built up and maintained throughout the production, but that was the only incongruity.
I would have liked a little more projection from some members of the cast – there seemed to be a couple of ‘dead’ spots on stage – one down left and the other up right on the sofa.
Emily Woodham created a good Julia Simmons – and I noticed the hand-
Liselle Lawrence again had a hard job creating the character of Bunnie – as she had to get the rather forgetful nature which she did well, but I thought at times she needed to be a bit more disturbed by her memory lapses. But otherwise a good portrayal.
Callum Harbour gave us a rather devil-
I liked Annette Strachan as Phillippa – I thought she got the essence of the character well, however I would have liked more projection throughout, as some of her lines were slightly lost to the audience.
Rebecca Pavlik was the rather repressed and strait-
I feel I should mention Alicia Lawrence who played Rudi – if only to say that she died nicely!!
The final cast member was Harry Cambridge as Sergeant Mellors – a small part and I think he achieved a good contrast to the Inspector.
So, overall a good production, classy and well-
Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company -
“A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED”
date: 1st March 2013
Director: Mariam Gaballa-